Rasmus Rivinius 1 , Matthias Helmschrott 1 , Arjang Ruhparwar 2 , Bastian Schmack 2 , Christian Erbel 1 , Christian A Gleissner 1 , Mohammadreza Akhavanpoor 1 , Lutz Frankenstein 1 , Fabrice F Darche 1 , Patrick A Schweizer 1 , Dierk Thomas 1 , Philipp Ehlermann 1 , Tom Bruckner 3 , Hugo A Katus 1 , Andreas O Doesch 1
16 February 2016
Amiodarone is a frequently used antiarrhythmic drug in patients with end-stage heart failure. Given its long half-life, pre-transplant use of amiodarone has been controversially discussed, with divergent results regarding morbidity and mortality after heart transplantation (HTX).
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of long-term use of amiodarone before HTX on early post-transplant atrial fibrillation (AF) and mortality after HTX.
Five hundred and thirty patients (age ≥18 years) receiving HTX between June 1989 and December 2012 were included in this retrospective single-center study. Patients with long-term use of amiodarone before HTX (≥1 year) were compared to those without long-term use (none or <1 year of amiodarone). Primary outcomes were early post-transplant AF and mortality after HTX. The Kaplan–Meier estimator using log-rank tests was applied for freedom from early post-transplant AF and survival.
Of the 530 patients, 74 (14.0%) received long-term amiodarone therapy, with a mean duration of 32.3±26.3 months. Mean daily dose was 223.0±75.0 mg. Indications included AF, Wolff–Parkinson–White syndrome, ventricular tachycardia, and ventricular fibrillation. Patients with long-term use of amiodarone before HTX had significantly lower rates of early post-transplant AF ( P=0.0105). Further, Kaplan–Meier analysis of freedom from early post-transplant AF showed significantly lower rates of AF in this group ( P=0.0123). There was no statistically significant difference between patients with and without long-term use of amiodarone prior to HTX in 1-year ( P=0.8596), 2-year ( P=0.8620), 5-year ( P=0.2737), or overall follow-up mortality after HTX ( P=0.1049). Moreover, Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed no statistically significant difference in overall survival ( P=0.1786).